Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Memories of Dorney Park's 130 Years - Part 3

We're back again today with even more photos from the history of Dorney Park's 130 years.  Hopefully you guys are enjoying the ride!

This view is of the parking lot entrance from the 1940s, or so.  It is especially interesting to me because it shows that the park's Rocket ride was originally located over yonder, and later moved next to The Coaster and the Mill Chute.  It is amazing to think of how different this area looks today!

The Whip is still operating at Dorney Park, which makes it a wonderful connection to the park's past.  This shot was taken from Dorney Park Road of The Whip - take notice of how there is nothing up the hill behind the ride aside from fields!  The curved roof of the ride has been maintained through to current day, as well.

Fascination is a wonderful game, one that you can find at some older parks like Knoebels today.  Dorney Park used to have Fascination as well, in what I think looks like one side of the Dorney mansion.  This photo appears to be from the 1970s, if the style of clothes on these visitors is any indication.

Another popular game - and one that is still around today - is Skee Ball.  This photo looks to be a bit older than the one of Fascination, showing even further how the popularity of the game has lasted.  Skee Ball is almost like Fascination on a grander scale, with players standing instead of sitting.

On Dorney Park's lower lake, where Hercules once roared and adjacent to Castle Garden, the park's Show Boat used to give leisurely cruises to guests.  The small paddle wheel boat included a draw bridge that allowed the vessel out of the docking area and into the larger lake.  It was covered to protect riders from the sun, and that combined with the cool water gave a relaxing break from the hectic park.

The Show Boat was equally popular at night, when the boat and park's lights came on.  This is a beautiful shot of the Show Boat out on the lake, with the parking tower, The Coaster, and even the Alfundo entrance sign shining behind it and reflecting in the water.

Going way back, to the turn of the century, here we see the original Dorney Park mansion house.  This old structure was the inspiration for one of Dorney's most popular Haunt mazes in current times, but back around 1900 was a simple easting establishment.  The banner above the door names it the Dorney Park Restaurant, and advertises ice cream.

Dorney Park's Cuddle-Up ride was one of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company's more popular rides, aside from roller coasters of course.  Dorney Park's was originally unthemed and featured nine cars sitting on several turn tables.  As the ride went the cars would twirl, appearing to nearly collide, but safely pass one another as they spun.  Eventually the ride was fully enclosed, and operated with disco lights and loud music - known as the Meteorite at the time.  Later the park added arctic theming to the outside of the ride, including fake penguins and a polar bear, pumped up the air conditioning, and renamed the ride the Iceberg.

Not all of Dorney Park's former amusements were extremely thrilling, take for instance this tall sliding tower that the park used to have.  Kids could climb up to the top and slide their way down the circular path on a mat.  If you look close at the bottom left of the photo, you can spot a part of one of the park's former kiddie coasters, as well.

Dorney Park has had a Tilt-A-Whirl for as long as many can remember.  Here is a photo of the ride from many decades ago, complete with clown images on the top border surrounding the ride.  The park has since replaced their older Tilt-A-Whirl with a newer version, but the location has stayed the same for ages.

I said at the start of this series that we would be seeing more of Alfundo, and I'm making good on that promise now.  Here we see the park's famous clown mascot out on his Alfundo car, with some pretty ladies in tow.  He used to ride around the park in this vehicle greeting guests.  It's okay to think it's scary looking... the general perception of clowns have definitely changed in our society from being funny and friendly to scary.

This photo was taken of Alfundo visiting some friends at the senior living center that's just down the road from the park, probably during the '70s.  Alfundo was recognizable all over the greater Lehigh Valley area, and while today would make kids turn the other way he was great free advertising back in the day!

I was trying to lower the number photos I would use in this pictorial celebration of Dorney Park's 130 years, but I've given up on that idea as I keep wanting to feature more!  So watch for at least one, probably two more posts in this series - soon!

All photos © Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom


Ron Pettit said...

I'm lovin these great pictorials of Dorney's past. I've been employed at the park for over 20 years and have only had a glimpse into her past.Keep up the great job. LOVE IT

Ron Pettit said...

I'm lovin' these posts.I have been an employee at Dorney for over 20 years and have only had a glimpse into her past. Thanks for a great job and keep up the good work. LOVE IT